:: CHALLENGE POINT ::
Some are so troubled to hear about Jesus and the Christian faith that they will even resort to persecution, by abuse through words and actions that threaten the growth of our faith. (We are persecuted for our faith then, as we say.) The reason the apostles were in trouble and felt such persecution was that they continued to preach Christian doctrine, which is the truth of God. Today it's all about self-helps and how I can become a better person. That’s certainly part of the gospel, but it's not the centerpiece of the gospel. The centerpiece of the gospel is Christ crucified, dead, buried, and risen on the third day.
Remember, Jesus said they will hate you because they hated Me, they will persecute you because they first persecuted Me. Don't stop preaching the gospel because you think no one is listening or even cares. That's when you put your shoulder in more deeply. To be a Christian is to preach the gospel, not to just look for an easy way to live your life. If you're not preaching the gospel on a regular basis by sharing something that you know about God in Christ to others, then you're like those superficial disciples that fell away. They stayed as long as it was safe, clean, and easy.
This world is hostile, oppressive, and dangerous. Preaching the gospel is harder today than ever in the history of Christianity. But think of your life without Christ. For those of you who are believers, where would you be today?